Class D for Sound Lab Speakers?

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    • #1121
      Massimo Stefanizzi
      Participant

      Thanks Evan,

      it does not matter, I live in Vienna (EU) the mains voltage here is 220v. and I doubt Bel Canto has even a voltage selector. I thought you had tried the Ref.600s but I misunderstood.
      I can’t wait to read your comment to AHB2!🎶 🤗 🎶

    • #1120
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Massimo,
      Sorry I can’t comment on the Bel Canto amps other than to say I was convinced based on reviews to give it a try if I thought it would be a good match with the Sound Labs (I did not have them in my system nor have I heard them in another system). Let me know if you’re interested and I will PM you a link with the ad. The seller is in Michigan (not sure where you’re located?)

      Evan

    • #1118
      Massimo Stefanizzi
      Participant

      Hi Evan!

      In the meantime could you please report your impressions on the BC Ref600?
      I would be very grateful because they are also in my short list! 🙂

      Have a nice Sunday!
      Massimo

    • #1117
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Well after toying with picking up a pair of used Bel Canto Ref600M class D amps, I decided to pull the trigger on a pair of Benchmark AHB2 amps. It’s not too clear what the topology is–Class H–but good words from Roger and myriad great reviews and a 30 day demo period got me over the hump.

      I’ll post my impressions when I get them.

    • #1103
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Yes I also sent a note to Ralph. It seems SL users will need to wait for a higher powered version.

    • #1102
      Massimo Stefanizzi
      Participant

      I had an email exchange with Ralph Karste yesterday, the new amp is not suitable to drive my A1s

    • #1101
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Interesting development. I knew Ralph was working on a class D. Looks like it’s ready.
      https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=180725.0;topicseen

    • #1092
      grg3939
      Participant

      I drove my U-3’s (updated toroids and PX panels) with Wolcott mono blocks for years. They worked very well. Plenty of punch, great highs, open mids, wide and deep soundstage. Last year I replaced them with the PS Audio M1200 Class D monoblocks. The M1200’s were better in every category. The timbral accuracy of all instruments, attack/sustain/decay ,micro dynamics, and ambience retrieval were immediately noticeable improvements right out of the box. After 200+ hours, they still were getting better. Darren Meyers knows what he’s doing to make those ICE modules sing.

    • #1058
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I definitely read that review, but forgot about the Merrill amp reference. Thanks. I reread it, and think that might have been what planted the seed in my head that Class D could be a good match with Sound Labs.

      I tried the W4S again after more break in and it still sounds good, just not as juicy and enveloping as the AtmaSpheres.

      I’m hearing good things about Benchmark with Sound Labs, so may give them a shot down the road just out of curiosity.

    • #1057
      jlbj
      Participant

      Guy’s I am surprised you missed this review of the Majestic 845PX in the May of 2014 edition of Enjoy The Music. Jules Coleman wrote the review and gave a thorough, interesting and glowing account of the speakers attributes.

      But what was interesting is the amplifier that he settled on after trying a
      Pass Labs A-250 which could not adequately drive the speaker. He chose the
      Merrill Veritas Monoblocks which are Class D, produce 400 watts into 8 ohms
      and had no trouble driving the big panels. The Veritas have a pretty good reputation in the Audio community and right now they are selling at very
      reasonable prices used, they listed new at 12k.

      One thing of note, while writing the review and listening to music at the same time he did not want to turn his head and spoil the illusion that this was not live music but a reproduction as gloriously presented by the Sound Lab speaker. As owners we know what he was talking about.

      http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superioraudio/equipment/0514/sound_lab_majestic_845px_electrostatic_speaker.htm

    • #1054
      Massimo Stefanizzi
      Participant

      Thank you Evan!
      🤗

    • #1050
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Ciao Massimo!
      The Wyred4Sound amp is amazing for the price—I paid about $800 used for it a few years ago. It is detailed and powerful. It has a little more glare than my MA1s, and much less emotional delivery, but I could definitely live with it for the Summer months. I’m sure there are better Class D amps now—the W4S uses a Beolab ICE module amp with a custom input and power supply. Given its performance, however, I don’t think I’ll be trying the Benchmark unless I find a great deal.

      Evan

    • #1049
      Massimo Stefanizzi
      Participant

      Hi ACHiPo,
      I am glad that your W4S ST500 can drive your new 645s!
      Just like you, I am also looking for a second ‘summer amplifier’.
      What do you think is a top tier Class D amp?
      I would like to read more of your listening impressions regarding MA1s vs. ST500.

      Best regards
      Massimo

      P.S.: I am considering this ‘top tier’ Wyred4Sound. Unfortunately no dealers in Vienna 🙁

      https://wyred4sound.com/products/power-amps/mono/sx-1000r

    • #1047
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I received my Sound Lab speakers yesterday and got them set up today. I listened for several hours with AtmaSphere MA1s and things sounded quite good. I switched to my Wyred4Sound ST500 amp (250 wpc Class D), and things sound quite good–different, but good. The room is a LOT cooler. Will continue running the Class D whenever not critically listening to break in the speakers. Given the performance of this relatively modest Class D, I’m thinking a top tier Class D would sound pretty darned good on Sound Labs.

    • #961
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Well, I have the Wyred4Sound Class D. I’ll likely use it to break in the Sound Labs. Will give it a listen, too, just to compare it to the MA-1s.

      Meanwhile I’ve got my eyes peeled for a Benchmark or 2. So far the only used ones I’m finding are very close to new in pricing.

      • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by ACHiPo.
    • #957
      MikeB
      Participant

      ACHiPo said: “I also ordered the MA-1s.” “I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a used Benchmark or 2 as it might be nice to have a low-heat option to drive the SLs in the summer!”

      I wasn’t going to say so, but now that you have, MA-1’s do indeed add some much welcomed warmth during my midwest winters. Because you already own the M-60’s, you have a clue. However, I can’t imagine the space heater warmth that the MA-2’s must emanate (grin). Then there are the MA-3’s. When firing them up, it must be campfire story and marshmallow roasting time 🙂

    • #956
      MikeB
      Participant

      Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier: interesting technology, great price! Thanks for heads-up and the link.

      If someone tries one, especially ACHiPo in comparison to your Atma-sphere MA-1’s, please give us a shout out. The 100-watts would seem to be marginal and as such questionable. However, numbers can be misleading. Especially when comparing the more usual Class AB vs A circuits.

      At any rate, hearing (particularly with SoundLabs) is believing! I rule nothing OUT, or for that matter IN based on specifications, technology, part types, topography, etc., without hearing. In our wacky hobby, I’ve been surprised both positively and negatively too many times to believe otherwise.

    • #954
      drbond
      Participant

      I’ve got a 3 year old pair of Atma-Sphere MA1’s that I’m thinking about rotating out of, if anyone is interested. Just moving on to a different sound.

    • #949
      D10
      Participant

      From my experience – no class D amps are good for SL!
      D

    • #933
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Yes Tom’s city system. I was very impressed by the (big speaker-sized) diminutive 545s. They ran out of gas (bass flapping) but at SPLs much higher than I normally listen (or even comfortable). Tom’s room is quite a bit liver than mine, so I think the 645s will sound fantastic (at least I hope so!)

      I also ordered the MA-1s. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a used Benchmark or 2 as it might be nice to have a low-heat option to drive the SLs in the summer!

      No new car for me for a few years!

    • #932
      kilkil
      Participant

      TWBs city system, i’m guessing?
      I know lots of people like tube amps, and i would love to hear the highly acclaimed Atmaphere’s in my system. I haven’t really heard tubes that i preferred over SS, though i will admit to recently hearing Stax 009s through an LTA Z10e and it is the best i’ve heard an electrostatic headphone to date, this system also sounded excellent powering the original Abyss 1266, which is the first headphone that i heard that i thought sounded better than my Quad system at the time. I may even like the Z10e better than my diy Gilmore designed Dynahi.

    • #930
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      I’d like to hear them as well. Ultimately I decided to pull the trigger on AtmaSphere MA1s as I’ve grown accustomed to the AtmaSphere sound and from what I read they are an outstanding pairing with Sound Labs.

      I heard 545s Sunday with Pass Labs 250.8s and they sounded very good. I’m hoping 645s driven by the MA1s will be at least as good in my room.

      I have a spare 500WPC Wyred4Sound Class D stereo amp that I will use to break in the Sound Labs. I used it when I sent my M60s back to Ralph for refurb and it sounded really good on my Kefs. Not as good as the AtmaSpheres, but better than I expected from an $800 used amp.

    • #929
      kilkil
      Participant

      I would be interested in hearing them, particularly as a side by side with my Pass amps. I do have a bias to Class A, i’m interested in how close other topologies can get.

    • #928
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      Update: Roger suggested I check out the Benchmark AHB amps and they have glowing reviews. I’ve found some positive statements on driving Martin Logan speakers, but nothing on Sound Lab. Has anyone heard or had experience with these amps on Sound Labs?
      Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

    • #907
      ACHiPo
      Participant

      There are some very good sounding Class D amps these days. I’m wondering how Class D amps would work with the electrostat load of the PX Sound Lab speakers?

      There are lists of good and not-so-good amps for Sound Labs, but I haven’t seen anything that says what it is about an amp that makes it a good match for Sound Lab speakers? AtmaSphere OTLs seem to handle the impedance curve well, as do Pass Labs (and I’ve heard Boulder and probably Dartzeel and Jeff Rowland Class A/B as well?) What is it about those amps (other than adequate power) that makes them a good match?

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